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On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions


  • de Frutos, Maria-Angeles
  • Fabra, Natalia


Several regulatory authorities worldwide have recently imposed forward contract obligations on electricity producers as a way to mitigate their market power. In this paper we investigate how such contractual obligations affect equilibrium bidding in electricity markets, or in any other auction-based market. For this purpose, we introduce forward contracts in a uniform-price multi-unit auction model with complete information. We find that forward contracts are pro-competitive when allocated to relatively large and efficient firms; however, they might be anti-competitive otherwise. We also show that an increase in contract volume need not always be welfare improving. From a methodological point of view, we aim at contributing to the literature on multi-unit auctions with discrete bids.

Suggested Citation

  • de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Fabra, Natalia, 2008. "On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6756

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Mullins & Liam Wagner & John Foster, 2010. "Price Spikes in Electricity Markets: A Strategic Perspective," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 05, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Federico, Giulio & Lopez, Angel L., 2009. "Divesting power," IESE Research Papers D/812, IESE Business School.
    3. Hurtado Moreno, Laura & Quintero Montoya, Olga Lucía & García Rendón, John Jairo, 2014. "Estimación del precio de oferta de la energía eléctrica en Colombia mediante inteligencia artificial || Estimating the Spot Market Price Bid in Colombian Electricity Market by Using Artificial Intelli," Revista de Métodos Cuantitativos para la Economía y la Empresa = Journal of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, vol. 18(1), pages 54-87, December.
    4. Jesús Alonso Botero & John Jairo García & Luis Guillermo Vélez, 2013. "Mecanismos utilizados para monitorear el poder de mercado en mercados eléctricos: reflexiones para Colombia," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID, December.

    More about this item


    antitrust remedies; discrete bids; electricity; Forward contracts; market power; multi-unit auctions; simulations;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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